Today’s children have their iPads, but back in our day, toys weren’t quite so fancy. In fact, some of them were utterly disturbing. Join us for a trip down memory lane, as we remember some of the scary toys that appeared in our toy chests and still haunt our nightmares.
1. Teddy Ruxpin
A fuzzy stuffed bear that giggled and read you stories—adorable, or Chucky in a fur suit? There was something unsettling about Teddy Ruxpin’s chattiness combined with his thousand-yard stare … and the depicting him as Frankenstein’s monster didn’t help.
2. The Face Bank
The creators of Face Bank could have designed this anthropomorphic coin-eating bank to look cute. Instead, they created what appears to be a monkey face with human skin, trapped inside of a box. Save your allowance, or else.
Why did we beg our parents to buy us what was essentially the nightmare lovechild of a Gremlin and a possessed owl? Was it the big, unblinking eyes that always seemed to follow you? The incessant chattering? The stories of it turning on by itself … even after you removed the batteries? Whatever the case, Furbies were downright freaky.
4. Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces
Hugo was built on the same face-swapping premise as Mr. Potato Head, save for one key difference. While Mr. Potato Head was a tuber, Hugo was a man. More specifically, Hugo was a legless man, who came with glue and a set of accessories like facial hair, wigs, scars, warts, fangs, glasses … basically a bunch of disguises that a serial killer might want.
5. Jolly Chimp
What, exactly, is so jolly about this plush demon? His bloodshot eyes? His mouth, filled with what looks like the teeth of human children? The incessant cymbal playing? “Drugged Chimp” or “Possessed Chimp” is more like it. This chimp is so terrifying, in fact, that its likeness was featured on the cover of Stephen King’s short story collection, . One of the stories in the book is actually called “The Monkey”, and features the toy as the villain.
6. Baby Alive
These animatronic dolls are still around today, but their current iteration is way more cartoonish than earlier versions. The dolls talked, cried, blinked, and sucked their thumbs, all while looking like emotionless murderers-in-training.
Things a horse needs: hay, a water trough, a pasture. Things a horse doesn’t need: high heels, a purse, jewelry and ankle bracelets. This weird horse doll–which looked like the mean girl middle school bully of My Little Pony–had all of these accoutrements and more … like access to an eyebrow pencil, apparently.